Except for Ohio State, the Big Ten looked surprisingly feeble. Illinois was still unbeaten after four games, but Purdue fell before Wichita 71-68 and Iowa succumbed to St. Louis 79-61. The Buckeyes rolled on. When Loyola (III.) pinched Jerry Lucas on defense and applied pressure at midcourt, John Havlicek shook free for 30 points ( Lucas got 20) and OSU won easily 92-72.
SWC teams were as unpredictable as ever. Favorite Texas A&M fell to Memphis State 62-60, and Arkansas surprised Oklahoma State with a tenacious zone defense and beat the ball-controlling Cowboys 63-54. Junior Dave Siegmund, 6 feet 7, perked up SMU with 16 points in 10 minutes, more than enough to carry the Mustangs past Oklahoma City 83-70. But OCU's Abe Lemons was more impressed with SMU's 6-foot-6, 235-pound Jan Loudermilk. "He's so big he just came wading through us like we were grass," moaned Lemons.
The situation was less confusing in the Border Conference, where Arizona State was living up to preseason appraisals. The undefeated Sun Devils had no trouble beating Kansas 72-58 and New Mexico 82-59.
As John Rudometkin goes, so goes USC, and both did just fine last week. Big John scored 20 points and the Trojans beat Colorado State 67-52; he got 22 and USC whipped DePauw 75-66. However, Colorado State had better luck against UCLA, beating the Bruins 69-68. Up north, Santa Clara sophomore whiz Bob Garibaldi tore apart the California defense for 18 points and the Broncos won 53-46.
Utah's Billy McGill, still carrying the Utes on his long back, scored 68 more points to get them past Los Angeles State 105-79 and San Jose State 60-50. Marveled LA State's Sax Elliot: "We created a circle around McGill, a regular family circle, and tried to get him to join it. He just wouldn't." Perhaps Utah State will find a way on Jan. 6. The Aggies, with Cornell Green scoring 27 points, trounced San Jose State 72-58 for their sixth straight.